Friday, December 10, 2010

Stash Chaos

It's utter chaos in my basement sewing area.

It occurred to me to take pictures but then I'd be embarrassed to have you see it right now.

Due to the influence of Kerry, (it's so easy to blame someone on the other side of the world) I made a rash decision to join Bonnie Hunter's latest mystery project called "Roll, Roll, Cotton Boll" (RRCB). I'm justifying participation as an attempt to reduce and organize my stash. Naturally.

My stash consists of 12 14 large bins of quilting cottons. To come up with Bonnie's suggested color scheme of neutrals, grass green, bubblegum pink and chocolate brown - it's easy to identify colors properly with examples, particularly of food items - I pretty much upended three fabric bins. At the bottom of every bin were old fabrics. They remember our children... who once lived here and were in school... elementary school.

Bonnie sets a good example. As she works with her fabrics, she cuts leftover pieces into useable sizes - lots of strips - sorted into containers. Me? I cut what I need, fold it back up and return it to a bin... even if it's a small piece. Gosh, that little bit might be needed for an appliqued leave, or a nose, or a bellybutton. In hindsight, I wish I'd done it differently. 

So, for the past couple days I've gone underground, to my basement sewing area, where I've been weeding. Small pieces - pretty much anything that's 1/4 yard or less - are now in one bin, a heaped bin that's labeled "for stripping." These are I-don't-like-them-anymore pieces that will reappear in string-pieced quilts. I have quilts in mind to make from them.

First, "Picket Fence," as I first admired it on Mayleen's "Q is for Quilt!" blog. PF is from Elsie Campbell's book "String Quilts." To make it, assorted width strips need to be separated into three piles: light value, medium value, and dark value.

Second, "Architectural Gem," as seen in the current issue of McCall's Quilting magazine. This project uses 2-1/2"-wide strips.

With these reasons to strip-cut old fabrics, I think I must find a volunteer contingent of quilting strippers. (Doesn't that sound naughty?!)

I have a pretty ugly mess to work through.
But I did achieve my objective.
I chose RRCB fabrics - grass greenbubblegum pink and chocolate brown.
Isn't it interesting that when you go shopping in your stash, looking for specific ingredients, it's a surprise to learn you're lacking in a particular color? I thought I wouldn't have 15 pinks, and instead found I am really short on browns!
 Part 1 and Part 2 pieces are cut.

RRCB Part 3 is to string neutrals onto 8-1/2" X 8-1/2" telephone book pages. So far, I've strip-cut these neutrals. Then, Bonnie instructs us to make 60 - only 60!?  (HA!) blocks!
Well... it's a piece of cake. A walk in the park...a day at the beach.

Don't I wish.


  1. WOW! That's quite some stash! Here at my daughter's I'm having to keep my 'stuff' picked up. I'm finding it difficult to stay focused and motivated away from my 'stash' and being spoiled by being able to spread out until a project is completed. ~karen

  2. I went shopping in my stash this week and found almost no navy blues - one of my favorite colors! I wonder if that means I've successfully used it all up or if I just haven't bought nearly enough. I choose the latter and shall go shopping. :) Well, not today but soon! blessings, marlene

  3. woohoo! You go girl!! I like the's fun to find out that you had more than you thought..... But, Move That Bus! and show us your basement!! :)

  4. This was really helpful to me. Thanks for sharing these ideas.

  5. I'd love to see some pictures of your sewing area!

    Funny how you many so many pinks! And I guess you have an excuse to go shopping for fabrics - a quilter can't be low on browns! It sounds like you've got two quilts for your 2011 goal list. Both are wonderful and I'm looking forward to seeing them!

  6. I love how you organized everything, and I love the pink fabrics!

  7. Looks like you are going to make a beautiful quilt. That sure was a big pile.

  8. Linda,
    It is really funny how we discover the colors we are lacking- I am not very good at choosing neutrals because I love color so it is sometimes difficult to find lights in my collection.
    You have some beautiful fabrics and I am sure it is going to be a stunning quilt.Thanks for sharing your color hunt with us.

  9. Hi Linda,
    I love your pinks, greens and browns. I also need to strip piece my neutrals to get stuck into making the strip pieced blocks. I'm impressed that you're going to start a strip tub LOL, something I also need to do.
    You'll never guess, but I also have that very same piece of orange fabric with the swirls on it in your pic of the fabrics to strip cut!!! Oh my. LOL.

  10. I just cannot believe this! I had just talked myself out of making RRCB and then decided to check your blog. Sigh. Maybe just one more project would be OK.

  11. Linda, I love your string projects and I'm sure the quilt will look great, I love pink and brown with green. I'm sure you'll keep us informed.

  12. Sounds like you are having lots of fun sorting through and playing with your fabrics. I am following Bonnie's project with interest, but I am a coward and need to see the end result first.

  13. So what do you do for a living? Oh I am a quilt stripper!! Does sound naughty, doesn't it? I like the colors you picked out for the project. It will be interesting to see your work in stages.


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